Physician initiation of discussions with patients about financial toxicity or work impacts related to prostate cancer and treatment are infrequent. These study results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

Participants in this study were enrolled in the Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Experience Registry and completed the FACIT-COST tool for measuring financial toxicity, for which lower scores reflect higher financial toxicity. Sociodemographics and outcomes related to financial toxicity and communication with the health care team (HCT) were evaluated.

A total of 107 patients and survivors participated. Metastatic disease had reportedly been present in 21% of participants, 22% had experienced recurrent disease, nearly half (48%) of the participants were still undergoing treatment, and 29% were employed.

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More than half (52%) of participants reported spending more than $100 per month on out-of-pocket costs related to prostate cancer, with 30% spending more than $250, and 16% spending more than $500. Across the population there was a mean financial toxicity score of 28 (range, 0 to 44).

Two-thirds (67%) of participants indicated that their HCT had not discussed treatment cost with them, and 77% reported that financial distress was not discussed. More than half (55%) reported that their HCT had not discussed impact of prostate cancer or treatment on work. Although participants were satisfied with discussions related to the benefits and risk/side effects of treatment (89% and 79%, respectively), only 49% were satisfied with the discussions regarding financial costs of each treatment option.

Increased financial toxicity did not show a link to a greater likelihood of HCT communication about treatment cost (P =.63) or impacts of treatment or cancer on work (P =.67). The lower the financial toxicity, however, the greater the level of patient confidence in physician communications about prostate cancer.

The study investigators noted that the results highlight the importance of transparency with patients about costs and impacts from care, in addition to the value of providing support for HCTs to communicate with patients regarding these topics.

Disclosures: Multiple authors declared affiliations with or received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.


Kranzler EC, Miller MF, Fortune EE, et al. Financial toxicity and patient-provider communication about cancer-related cost among prostate cancer patients and survivors. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 6):abstr 215. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.6_suppl.215

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor